Monday, November 25, 2013

Holi - The Festival Of Colour

One of the highlights, and most anticipated dates of our India trip, fell on my last full day, being 27th of March this year - Holi. A Hindu religious festival and a celebration of the beginning of Spring, it's a national holiday and something I had wanted to experience for some time.

Holi is where coloured powder, and water, is thrown at each other on the streets, and everyone is fair game!

We were in Delhi for the day, and after having plotted out the clothes we could each throw out at the end of the day, and gathered our courage and went out to get amongst it.

Being a group of white tourists, especially with a few women in the group, meant we were popular targets for a "Happy Holi", and being smeared with coloured powder on our foreheads. Being sprayed with water, or coloured foam, or a variety of other coloured paints, and being dumped with water from the balconies above. All in fun, mostly, but it's certainly not for the faint hearted!

The girls in our group were particular targets, with touches to the face, the attempt at a full on hug, and then the surprising grope. It's didn't take long for us all to figure this out, and start keeping a distance between ourselves and the Holi well-wishers.

I certainly would not have done this alone, or in a smaller group. The hassling does go too far at times, and being in our big group protected us all, really.

But being out to enjoy the festival, it IS like a massive water fight as kids, with colour flying everywhere. The progression of our photos and colour coats was pretty awesome. We gave as good as we got, buying more coloured powders along the way, and painting the foreheads of anyone who would let us. It was a lot of fun!

I braved my camera, and it survived, and I managed to get plenty of photos. I took minimal things with me, and we only ventured into the small laneways of the bazaar not too far from our hotel.

We made our way to a central point in the bazaar, and having had enough of the attention and running low on powder, we decided a rooftop drinks break was in order. We managed to find a bar that smuggled beer to us, and had a lovely session away from the action, where we got to marvel and laugh at each other's colours. And for the first time, get a proper look at ourselves!

My, were we all a sight! Such a laugh, and so fun to be part of!

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